Your Newest Phillies Starting Pitcher: Homicidal Maniac John Lannan

Patrick McDermott

The Phillies have signed, pending physical, their greatest enemy, who also happens to be their greatest asset as an opposing pitcher - John Lannan.

The Twitterverse is all aflutter with the Phillies having an agreement with John Lannan, pending a physical. Lannan will receive $2.5 million guaranteed next year and will presumably slot into the 4th or 5th starter spot, rounding out the rotation of Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee, Cole Hamels, and Kyle Kendrick.

The TGP author email list has been lit up by this news. Maybe no opposing player other than Cody Ross (in which case it's appropriate his name continues to appear in the rumor mill) has caused quite the stir on TGP as Lannan has. We've debated him endlessly. We all agree that he's a homicidal maniac hellbent on injuring the best Phillies players. The question on this blog has been what his punishment should be.

Apparently, Ruben Amaro Jr.'s position on the great issue is that his punishment should be signing with the Phillies. I, for one, think this is a horrible position to take, even worse than my co-authors' positions supporting execution and civil lawsuits.

There are two very important things that you have to understand about John Lannan. One, he hits Phillies batters a) in ways that seriously injure them and b) at a rate much higher than he hits anyone else. He has hit 11 Phillies batters in his career. The next highest is 5 Marlins. Two, he has no clue how to get the Phillies batters out (which is maybe why he hits them so much). The Phillies have a .899 OPS against him.

Even better, the Phillies have won 15 of the 19 games Lannan has started against them. That's a .790 winning percentage. Compare that to the Phillies record when all other pitchers start against them since Lannan entered the league: .566. So, in other words, the Phillies are on the verge of signing a guy they have beaten 23% more of the time than all other starting pitchers.

Nevermind that Lannan strikes out relatively few batters (4.8 K/9 over the past 3 years) and lets up a ton of baserunners (1.50 WHIP over the past 3 years). The bottom line is that John Lannan is better off to the Phillies playing on other teams.

Plus, assuming he passes his physical, I fear we'll soon seen the day he whirls around to second base for a pickoff and pegs Chase Utley in the face.

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